Why Am I Here?

leaf shadows

Elm leaf shadows on a misty window

The profound alienation I often feel has raised its faceless head again. It always comes on suddenly. This time the trigger was another couple our age, retired of course, who moved to Taos a few years ago and love the concerts, readings, and gallery openings… Just wait, I think. I never came for those, although we used to go to most. Now we don’t do anything but buy groceries and hike. Well aware of the great co-opted culture myth, a friend of mine once told me, “You know, John, all we really have here are the mountains.” He knew.

John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • Rita November 24, 2018, 8:47 AM

    I get it. I have Oregon mountains that I love. A lot of us van dwellers go south in the winter but I am loath to leave my mountains. I have a spring where I fill my water jugs with raw water and one to soak in. I think I am home maybe like an old indigenous woman who knows she has moved camp for the last time.

    • JHF November 24, 2018, 3:04 PM

      I’d like to be “home” like that, but first we do have to move at least one more time. I was just looking at Montana DOT webcams, BTW. Holy God.

  • marti2013 November 24, 2018, 11:28 AM

    I came from mountains, grew up with mountains and didn’t come for the mountains although I don’t know how anyone can tell directions on a cloudy day without mountains. I came and stay for the lack of social classes. I could be a low income artist and hang out with the homeless and the rich and famous and nobody seemed to know the difference. I don’t know that this is still true because we don’t go out that much anymore.

    • JHF November 24, 2018, 3:13 PM

      I know what you mean about the (relative) lack of social classes. That’s how I felt at first. I think it’s changed, though.

  • Carmel Glover November 24, 2018, 5:47 PM

    I love that photo

    • JHF November 25, 2018, 8:35 PM

      ‘Tis pleasing, is it not?

  • S. R. Barrett November 25, 2018, 3:34 PM

    I’ve only lived here six months, but I can definitely see there are social classes in Taos. The thing is, we’re not required to buy into them. One of those classes is “everybody else.”

    • JHF November 25, 2018, 8:52 PM

      Welcome! What you say is true. We’ve been here almost 20 years. I’m finally ready to commit or run the hell away, and every year has felt like that.

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